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An opportunity for King-Harbor

May 20, 2008

Re "Reviving King-Harbor," Opinion, May 14

Zev Yaroslavsky's proposed solution to reinstate full services at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Medical Center is a breath of fresh air. However, he perpetuates a serious misconception of the medical center's present status. King-Harbor was not and is not closed. Comprehensive outpatient clinical services have continued to be provided at King-Harbor, including general medical services, drop-in urgent care, numerous medical and surgical specialty clinics and all necessary support services. It remains a viable, functioning medical center, just without inpatient or trauma care.

Let us not downplay the importance of and critical need for outpatient medical care in this community as we struggle to reinstate the other King-Harbor services that have been temporarily suspended.

David E. Dassey

Los Angeles

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We applaud Yaroslavsky's bold call for a new direction and approach in seeking a viable operator for Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Medical Center. His proposal for a new governance structure for a potential partnership between the University of California and Los Angeles County is just the shot in the arm the process needs.

In combination with a public/private-sector strategy to enhance prevention, primary care and specialty care services, this investment by the county will yield even greater returns for the residents of South-Central Los Angeles who are in desperate need of access to high-quality healthcare.

An important window of opportunity has now opened, and we encourage the UC system to take Yaroslavsky's overture to heart and begin to engage in serious discussions on reopening this important and critical community icon.

Robert K. Ross

Los Angeles

The writer is president and chief executive of the California Endowment.

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